Washington general manager Mike Rizzo got into a shouting match with second-base umpire Jim Joyce in the hallway between clubhouses after the final out of the New York Mets’ 9-7 win over the visiting Nationals on Thursday night.
It followed the Nationals’ attempt to rally in the ninth inning, which was thwarted when Jayson Werth was called for an illegal takeout slide at second base.
“You blew it,” Rizzo said on his way to the Nationals’ clubhouse as he passed the umpire crew, which included Joyce, according to the New York Daily News.
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Werth was also called out earlier in the game at second with the umpire citing the slide rule, the Daily News reported.
Rizzo and Joyce then had to be restrained by by Citi Field security and the other umpires, according to the Daily News’ report. Among their heated words, Joyce shouted to Rizzo to identify himself, which the Nats executive loudly obliged.
“I don’t need it out there either. You want to yell? Yell,” Rizzo said, according to the Daily News. “I’m right here.”
“You’re the one that came up and talked to me,” Joyce reportedly replied.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said the guidelines regarding slides into second base were tenuous.
“I know I’ve been told four or five different things from different crews about the rules, and last time, I was told it was going to be a common-sense-type thing,” Baker said. “I don’t know how you teach young players now to break up a double play, because there’s no such thing as breaking up a double play.”
Werth deadpanned that the play resulted in two outs before reflecting similar thoughts to Baker’s.
“Well, I was out. So was the guy at first, I guess,” Werth said, according to the Daily News. “Big spot in the game there. I don’t know. It’s challenging because I feel like on some level, I had the same slide earlier in the game. I talked to Marvin Hudson, the third-base umpire, and we talked about the slide rule. It seems like everybody’s got a different take on it. It seems like it’s inconsistent.
“To me that’s a clean slide. It’s been a clean slide for over 100 years. There was no spikes involved. I was down early. If the rule is you can’t make contact, then Major League Baseball needs to clarify that. Right now I think it’s up to interpretation.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.